Goat breeds are classified depending on their type or purpose. One way to put it is that if a goat is very productive in milk, it is classified as a milk breed. If a goat is large enough to grow juicy and delicious meat, it’s classified as a meat breed, the same thing for fiber producing goat breed. However, it does not mean that if it’s a meat breed, it cannot produce milk. This is a common misconception of newbie farmers. A good example of this situation is the pygmy goat. There is what you call pygmy goat milking even if the goat is known to be the smallest type of meat breed.
Regardless of the breed, a goat will definitely produce milk after a few weeks of gestation. Enough to supply its kids with the nourishment they need. The classification of the milk breed is being determined by the amount of milk it can produce and the butterfat content of the milk. The butterfat content is the one that makes the milk so tasty and delicious. It’s the one that allows the milk to get creamy. The milk with high butterfat content is often used to create ice cream, yogurt, some cosmetic products, cheese and more.
The situation of milking a pygmy goat often resulted from lack of space, especially for backyard or home farms. The situation will lead you into choosing a dwarf breed which brings you to either a Nigerian dwarf or a pygmy goat. Nigerian dwarf goat produces a lot of milk and with the higher percentage of butterfat content. However, it is not always the best solution for home breeders. Nigerian dwarf takes a lot of effort in milking. It requires you at least 2 to 3 times a day to keep the goat’s udder empty, once a day for a pygmy goat is more than enough. That’s why some people at home prefer to have fresh dairy from a pygmy goat.
Pygmy Goat Milking
Either of the two goat breeds you have, both are still a good choice. The goat is space saving and very easy to handle, especially when it comes to milking. They are also human-friendly which means there are no risks of harm anywhere in your backyard farm. Goats can sometimes be mischievous but it’s just how they play. Often times, goats will try to perform a head-butt and other behavior if they feel like being playful.
Size and Weight
Pygmy goat weighs about 50 to 75 pounds depending on the gender. Usually, a female pygmy goat or doe weights just about 55 pounds. Male pygmy goats are the ones that could reach 75 pounds more or less. The average height of pygmy goat ranges from 16 to 23 inches tall where 16 is the range of female pygmy goat and 23, more or less, are males. This makes handling things pretty easy for you at home.
Large milk breeds can produce a high amount of milk but it would be very hard for home or backyard farmers to milk the goat. Not to mention that farming at home isn’t really a job but more of a passion and utilizing the animal and your knowledge for the luxury of having a fresh dairy product at home. This makes pygmy goat an ideal choice.
Amount of Milk
Pygmy goats can produce at least 1 quart to two quarts of milk a day. It’s almost the same with Nigerian dwarf with at least 2 quarts or more. The butterfat content of pygmy goat’s milk is about 4.5 to 10 percent while Nigerian has 6 – 10 percent, a little higher compared to a pygmy. But unfortunately, the time or period to where you can goat a Nigerian goat is far longer compared to a pygmy goat. Pygmy goats can produce milk for only 120 to 180 days more or less, Nigerian dwarf goats, .however, can continue to produce a sufficient amount of milk for up to 305 days. That’s closer to 1 year.
Quality of Milk
The quality of milk a pygmy goat produces may not be the best but it is certainly good. It has a sweet and rich taste, possibly because of the amount of butterfat. Regardless, it’s still one of the good milk you’d taste considering that it is a meat breed to start with. It’s also small but 1 to 2 quarts of milk a day is enough to fill up for cups of milk. Considering that you chose to raise a pygmy goat at home to save space, that amount of milk is probably more than enough for your small and healthy family.